Sometimes smart home technology is not about your appliances and devices doing more, but doing less. At least that’s what LG may be thinking, with a new waterless washing machine that is apparently around the corner.
Waterless washing machines are something of a holy grail in the home appliance industry, with numerous companies having tried, and usually only reaching reduced water usage. The prospect is so attractive because water usage is one of the biggest costs of cleaning clothes, and growing warnings of water scarcity and other environmental concerns are also hurdles.
Engadget reported the intriguing development Wednesday, alluding to a discussion with an LG executive.
“Alas, Senior Vice President for LG Electronics Home Appliance Division, Kevin Cha, wasn't willing to divulge to us exactly how this laundry magic trick will be performed, or whether it'll be totally waterless rather than just virtually waterless — it's still in the early stages of development and is (for now) a trade secret,” Engadget wrote.
The article also referred to a somewhat similar product that LG showed off earlier this year, the LG Styler, an enclosed cabinet in which you put worn clothes, and the machine steams them, shakes them down and freshens them up for another use, without the need for (as many) regular washes.
Engadget sees this rumor as a part of a strong push around the corner from LG for more smart home appliances.
“LG is also looking at an ecological re-imagining of the refrigerator, with a prototype that can keep itself cool for six hours without any power assistance,” the article said. “In general, LG says it's focusing on next-generation smart appliances in a big way next year.”
Some of those other appliances include a smart oven that could talk to smartphones or special smart cookbooks, to preset everything for you, and a wine kiosk that scans bottles to access a database of information.
The commenters on the Engadget article were skeptical of the new washer’s effectiveness.
“So... why is there a dryer pictured? If its not wet then it doesn't need to dry,” dsstrainer said. “But really.. it sounds like machine simply sprays dry cleaner fluid and febreeze all over your clothes while flopping them around.”
MrPinkBlackRose said the customers might be a bigger problem.
“This will be like old people and microwaves when they first came out...no one will trust it,” MrPinkBlackRose said.